Natural Social Network: Wood Wide Web

by: Kiana on 08/10/2016

Social networks are not just found on our mobile devices according to German forest ranger Peter Wohlleben in his new book: The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate — Discoveries From a Secret World

Through his own observations along with scientific research, Peter has discovered that trees in fact can “count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the ‘Wood Wide Web’, and keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots”.

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German Forest Ranger Peter Wohlleben pictured in NY Times article 

It seems we are losing touch with our natural, wild, intuitive side with all of life’s distractions and the technology that surrounds us on a daily basis. I am sure we can all relate to this.

Waking up in the morning, the first thing most of us do is turn on our phones to check for new messages -- as if expecting the world to have ended overnight. This is where it starts. We begin the day by distracting ourselves with the outside world without much focus on our inner world, being mindful and being grateful for this new, beautiful day we are about to embark on.

This sets us off into the frenzy of getting ready for work, making our lunches, walking the dog or whatever other morning duties we usually have -- not slowing down until we are at work where we continue to be surrounded by a great number of stressors and distractions.

By doing this, we are often going about our day without interacting properly socially or taking the time to get in touch with nature -- a vital part of stress relief.

It seems we have a thing or two to learn from these wise, ancient beings. Many of us no longer leave the house without staying connected via social media one way or another. But are we really being social in doing so? And are we still engaging in the outdoors as much as we used to?

There are many things we can do to guard against these common societal ailments, including getting outside for a morning walk, actively reducing our daily mobile phone usage, or taking our kids out for some nature activities.

Perhaps we should really be turning more frequently to trees and nature to take inspiration from. If you’re interested in books that relate to these topics, please see: The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World, I-Minds: How Cell Phones, Computers, Gaming and Social Media are Changing our Brains, our Behavior and the Evolution of our Species and The Big Book of Nature Activities: A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Learning.

 

 

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